Sunday, January 29, 2012

Color Therapy

It seems like every year at about this time I find myself browsing through my collection of artist's books, soaking up paintings by artists like Joseph Albers and Ellsworth Kelly.  The ultra-saturated colors in their paintings somehow supplement the lack of Vitamin D coursing through my body.

Joseph Albers, Homage to the Square: Soft Spoken

Joseph Albers, Study for Homage to the Square

Ellsworth Kelly, Red/Blue

Ellsworth Kelly, Red Blue Green

I'm making a conscientious effort to surround myself with color this winter.  I'll wear my chartreuse scarf instead of my beloved grey one and flip through colorful paint chips in Home Depot.  I even painted my mirror hot pink (to be revealed on a later post.)  Somehow, this seems to cure my winter blues.  One thing that always does the trick is my favorite set of mugs.  I can't help but wonder if painters like Albers and Kelly used to sip their coffee out of the same mugs.  They must have, right?

Bauerware mugs from next summer

I worry sometimes that I have overdone it with the bright pink and green colors in my living room, but my husband insists it's not too much.  So I've resigned to stop worrying and embrace color.  These are some of my favorite pieces that remind me of my favorite painters.  I hope they warm you up on a cold winter's day.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

being engaged

The front of our store in Saratoga Springs, NY

I’ve had a unique opportunity over the last five years to re-define what a “good life” means to me. When I stop and think about it I realize it’s not an idea I’ve formulated over just the last few years, but something I’ve spent my entire life trying to understand.

I think everyone is in a lifelong search for a good life. We all want to live a good life. For the lucky ones the meaning of “a good life” reveals itself early on. For the rest of us, it’s something we’re constantly trying to define.

As children, adults ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In high school our teachers ask us, “What do you want to do with your life?” When we get toward the end of college we begin to ask ourselves, “What’s the next step?” The plan is almost always to have a good life – the path to follow in order to get there is the bigger question.

Like many people, I got off to a slow start in life by choosing a career that was wrong for me. What that path taught me, however, is what really matters to me. To me, the important thing, I discovered, was to be engaged – no not (necessarily) betrothed, but we’ll get to that. I wanted to be involved in things I found important. I wanted to be talking to and learning from interesting people – engaged by them. Next summer has allowed me to do that.

To truly engage people you need to discuss your passions. While it took me nearly 40 years to recognize, design is my passion, I eventually figured that out. I get to spend every day talking about great design (usually with people who appreciate it as much as I do). Getting to do what you are most passionate about – now THAT’S a good life!

Once I got to that point in my life I was opened up to many other levels of happiness. I met the woman of my dreams and my best friend and eventually we became engaged.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Centerpiece How To

We've all been to dinner parties where we spend the majority of the evening trying to see through an oversized centerpiece in order to talk to the person on the other side of the table.  For those of us who love the drama of a bold centerpiece, but still want to be able to communicate with our dinner partners, you will find some tips for creating simple, yet interesting centerpieces here.  Matthew and his mother, Kathy, give you guidelines for creating centerpieces which you can see over, under, through and around.

Above: "Over"

Above: "Under"

Above: "Through"

Above: "Around"

Monday, January 16, 2012


Meet Matthew & Lindsay:

As a couple who loves art and design we believe in bringing good design to everyone.  We own next summer, a lifestyles store with locations in Bolton Landing, NY and Saratoga Springs, NY.  We stock the store with supplies for a good life, which range from novel and brightly colored kitchen gadgets to affordable rugs and furniture.  We both have backgrounds in art - Matthew did design work for Nike and studied Urban Planning at Cornell.  Lindsay is an art instructor and received a Master of Fine Art in painting from California College of Art.

We got married six months ago and are starting our lives together in upstate NY.  The mission of our blog is much like the mission of our store: to bring good design to everyone at an affordable price.  Through the work we do in our store, next summer, and the work we do in our lives, decorating our apartment, we hope to inspire you and to give you the tricks of the trade that we have picked up throughout our lives so that you too can live a good life.